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One of the great disappointments of this awards season has been the ascendency of the deeply mediocre Green Book (2018) above so many worthier, more interesting contenders. It started out with such momentum on the festival circuit – winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival (basically that festival’s equivalent of Best Picture) – that it has been able to inexplicably weather through countless controversies, criticisms and revelations about its cast and crew.
Viggo Mortenson used racial slurs during a round-table interview, and still the movie stayed on track. The family of Don Shirley, one of the two men at the heart of the film, came out about how the film was unfair toward Shirley, lied about his relationship with Driver Tony Vallelonga, and still it landed on the American Film Institute’s top 10 list for the year. Critics pointed out how the film’s White lead subsumed the story of a Black man, made innumerable false comparisons between their racial struggles and essentially took credit for ‘solving’ racism in the 1960s, and it still went on to be acclaimed by the National Board of Review. Its scribe, Nick Vallelonga (son of subject Tony Vallelonga), was revealed to be a racist Trumper who championed the president’s lies about New Jersey Muslims cheering the 9/11 terrorist attacks as the towers fell, and yet it claimed top prizes at the Golden Globes.
Movie - Trajectory - Setbacks - Awards - Season
Yes, the movie’s trajectory has suffered tremendously due to these setbacks in its “why can’t we all just get along” awards season narrative, but not as much as, by rights, it should have. Although no longer fated to win big at the Oscars, it will certainly be listed among a lot of the big categories, likely including Actor, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay and Picture (with some suggesting it could get...
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